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  1. #1

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    Hi everyone,

    I am looking into pickups these days because my guitar has a lot of low end and I have a hard time dealing with it. Even with an eq or adjusting the pickup...

    it's a custom made 16,5 inches 6cm deep made with spruce on top and maple on the back. Completely hollow.

    I was advised to replace my Gibson 57 with a lollar imperial low wind but it doesn't quite change anything...

    Do you guys know pickups I should look into that would fit my need?

    I might swap the wooden bridge for a tune o matic as well. Would it help?

    thanks!!!

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  3. #2

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    Hmm, that sounds like a lot! Seriously, I would call up a trusted guitar pro or luthier/tech, bring your gear to him/her, spend an hour playing through it, and experimenting with what you have before changing out anything else. [the person may even say, "Sounds good to me!"]

  4. #3

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    Have you reduced the bass control on the amp?

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Have you reduced the bass control on the amp?
    yes of course. And the size of the cabinet doesn't matter I always have the same issue

  6. #5

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    high pass (or low cut) filter? that's more of an acoustic guitar (or studio) eq thing, but that seems to be what you want here. the idea being that it trims off everything below a certain frequency. if you're lucky, you get to pick which frequency that is.



    at 2:04 you get a very brief example of what that does, how it compares to a bass knob and how they can be used in conjunction to get the sound you're after.

    conversely, you could use a similar pedal to add some highs/presence. but cleaning up the lows tends to make more sense.

  7. #6

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    Pole pieces on the pickup?

  8. #7

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    check the dimarzio eric johnson humbucker...its a full size humbucker but voiced for more high end like a strat

    and yeah tune-a-matic would help

    also check your pots and caps..make sure they are what they should be spec wise

    luck

    cheers

  9. #8

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    What brand, type and gauge of strings are you using?

    Did you try lowering the pickup and raising the poles for string to string balance?

    I have the Gibson 57 in the Gibson L-4CES, 80mm deep, similar to yours. I don't have "a lot of low end" using a 12-52 set. You could go to a lighter gauge E2 string, for example, a 50 or 48.

    I suspect that your Gibson 57 is set too close to the bass strings. Lower it somemore and raise the pole screws to balance the plain steel strings.

    If you could borrow a Tech 21 Q/Strip or Empress ParaEQ, do so and see if it works before buying one.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    What brand, type and gauge of strings are you using?

    Did you try lowering the pickup and raising the poles for string to string balance?

    I have the Gibson 57 in the Gibson L-4CES, 80mm deep, similar to yours. I don't have "a lot of low end" using a 12-52 set. You could go to a lighter gauge E2 string, for example, a 50 or 48.

    I suspect that your Gibson 57 is set too close to the bass strings. Lower it somemore and raise the pole screws to balance the plain steel strings.

    If you could borrow a Tech 21 Q/Strip or Empress ParaEQ, do so and see if it works before buying one.

    My guitar is an Elferink,

    I've tweaked the pickup in many different ways raising flattening the pole, lowering the low strings raising the highs, but I still feel the guitar is very bassy and if I'm lowering the bass strings too much the result playing with a band is very unbalanced.

    but it's my first time really tweaking a pickup so maybe I don't get it so well...

  11. #10

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    Lower the bass pole pieces in your pickup! And/or lower the whole bass-side of the pickup.

    *edit: oh, you really tried that. Perhaps contact Frans, I am sure he will help you.

  12. #11

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    Contact Frans.

    Meanwhile, try covering up the f-holes. Cellophane tape will destroy the finish so try to cut EVA foam as plugs to plug up the f-holes. You could try stuffing the body cavity with some wool. This would help to attenuate the bass by raising the Helmholtz frequency.

    Ask Frans if he would recommend inserting a soundpost to reduce the action of the spruce top.

  13. #12

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    Get the amp/speakerbox up off the floor. It might help.

  14. #13

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    Try using acoustic guitar strings for the low E and A: bronze or 80/20s. They have weaker magnetic signals.

    Switch (decrease the value of ?) your capacitor in your pickup wiring to cut less hi-end.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Contact Frans.

    Meanwhile, try covering up the f-holes. Cellophane tape will destroy the finish so try to cut EVA foam as plugs to plug up the f-holes. You could try stuffing the body cavity with some wool. This would help to attenuate the bass by raising the Helmholtz frequency.

    Ask Frans if he would recommend inserting a soundpost to reduce the action of the spruce top.
    thanks I'll definitely ask him, I wasn't aware that it's possible to install a soundpost after the guitar is closed!

    foam plugs may be the solution also, what do you think about a tune o matic, would it help?

  16. #15

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    swapping out the wooden bridge for a metal one might solve the issue, but it isn't a targeted solution. changing the bridge material/alloy will change the sound of the guitar across the entire tonal spectrum. maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't. not too many ways to find out. but it isn't the first thing i would try to address your specific issue.

  17. #16

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    is the problem there acoustically too ?
    unplugged i mean ....

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    is the problem there acoustically too ?
    unplugged i mean ....
    No I guess not. It feels balanced played acoustically

  19. #18

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    If it were me, I would just get a different amp, especially if the current one is a Fender with multiple speakers. If it's too bassy after dialing the bass to zero, it's likely the amp. Try something with one smaller speaker, 10" or even 8".

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    If it were me, I would just get a different amp, especially if the current one is a Fender with multiple speakers. If it's too bassy after dialing the bass to zero, it's likely the amp. Try something with one smaller speaker, 10" or even 8".
    i have the same issue with different amps from rehearsal spaces and venues. Mine is a tube tone king, my gigging amp is a small dv mark little jazz, and I played it through transistor's peavey and jazz chorus...

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjamin
    My guitar is an Elferink,

    I've tweaked the pickup in many different ways raising flattening the pole, lowering the low strings raising the highs, but I still feel the guitar is very bassy and if I'm lowering the bass strings too much the result playing with a band is very unbalanced.

    but it's my first time really tweaking a pickup so maybe I don't get it so well...
    Maybe you can just ask Elferink what to do? And/or take the guitar there to find a fix?
    You said on your amp you already turned down the bass – did you turn it to zero?

  22. #21

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    I would get the Little Jazz up off the floor, and tilt it a little. That makes a big difference for me. The Little Jazz has a lot of bass, more than some larger amps, because of the rear port. Position makes a big difference also. Get it away from walls or other reflectors, and elevate it, and turn the bass down, and if there is still too much low end, it may be time to think about another guitar. Some just can't be tamed in the low end.

  23. #22

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    Is this a case of "the tone is too dark" or is it a case of "the bass notes are too loud" and are you getting feedback from it? The solutions for these two things are different. I have the opposite problem, I am usually trying to get guitars to sound darker rather than brighter. Brightness is the normal tendency of the steel string guitar.

    I am assuming here that you have maxed out the free things like lowering the pickup, adjusting the polepieces for balance, dealing with the EQ of the amp, getting the amp up off of the floor, keeping the amp away from walls and out of corners when playing, etc.

    Brighter strings, such as nickel plated or stainless steel may help. Bass content will still be there but the higher harmonics will be more evident. Using lighter gauge strings on the bass side may also be helpful in reducing their prominence.

    If the tone is too dark, a brighter voiced pick up. A Dimarzio 36th Anniversary or a Seymour Duncan Jazz neck pickup may work for you. People often complain that these pickups are a bit too bright for jazz. 500 K pots, .022 cap are good starting points, but you could go even higher on the pots to brighten the sound. I am assuming your guitar has a tone pot and a volume pot; you could bypass the tone pot entirely a la a Gibson Johnny Smith.

    Use a very low capacitance per foot (or meter, depending on where you are). Many guitar cables are surprisingly high in their capacitance and will darken the sound of the instrument. My current favorites are George L's cables which are 16 pF per foot in capacitance. Many common guitar cables are three or four times higher than that. Even though I prefer a dark sound, I find that these cables help reduce the tendency to get muddy.

    A TOM bridge will usually make the guitar sound brighter. in my experience, a lighter mass wooden bridge top will also brighten the sound.

    I would suggest avoiding Fender amps altogether. They are just typically bass heavy and very light on the mids due to the way the tone stack is shaped. If you must use one, try the bass and treble knobs at about 0.5 (nearly all the way down) and the mid control, if there is one, nearly all the way up. That simulates a flat response on those amps and should reduce the prominence of the bass signal, brightening the rest of the tone. You may have to bring up the volume (speaking of which, run the volume knob on the guitar wide open or close to it, as lowering the volume of the guitar often rolls off high frequencies and therefore makes the bass frequencies more noticeable). Or consider trying a different amp all together. I have an Acoustic Image Clarus 2r which includes a frequency cut knob that can be used to reduce bass tones even further than just with the EQ knob. This feature is helpful in reducing feedback from the bass strings. Also experimenting with closed back versus open back cabinets, etc. A Polytone with the "bright" switch set all the way up and the bass control all the way down is not a dark amp!

    A parametric EQ may be a useful solution.

  24. #23

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    Lots of good advice here, Cunamara gives a good summary. Only thing to add is that I’ve had great results taming low frequencies for both bass (upright and electric) and archtop guitars using a simple Fdeck HPF. There are some for sale on reverb and I think they are still available new.

  25. #24

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    When an archtop feeds back, it starts as an increase in the volume of the lower notes, in my somewhat limited experience.

    So, if you notice that the problem is worse as you go from low to moderate volume from the amp, that might be the culprit.

    If so, the usual techniques for feedback reduction (discussed in other threads) apply. A product called Doug's Plugs seems to get very good reviews. I've never done that, but I have stuffed most of a sofa into a Godin with surprisingly good results.

    If the guitar is balanced acoustically but not electrically -- and you've tried all the usual stuff with pickup/polepiece height, EQ, different amps etc. without improvement, that strikes me as a little odd. I'd be surprised if, after all that, the pickup made a lot of difference. Of course, I've been surprised before.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Is this a case of "the tone is too dark" or is it a case of "the bass notes are too loud" and are you getting feedback from it?

    thanks for all the great advices!

    Again it's the first time I'm dealing with adjusting a pickup plus it's a new guitar so I am not really familiar with its natural sound. I m not sure I have maxed out all what is possible with the adjustment of the pickup. I feel that if the pickup is too low on the bass side in fact it will attenuate the bass but the whole sound of the guitar is completely unbalanced. If I lower the whole thing then the guitar lacks dynamics.
    The main problem may actually be the adjustment of the pickup and I just can't dial the right height of the poles and the pickup itself... if you have advice on that subject it would be great!

    anyone has had experience with Lollar impérial low wind on an archtop. And what I should expect on the way it behaves?

  27. #26

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    I didn't have time to watch 26 minutes of this, but Throbak is reputed to make good pickups and so their information might even be reliable:




    and YouTube suggested this, I haven't watched it:


  28. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    I didn't have time to watch 26 minutes of this, but Throbak is reputed to make good pickups and so their information might even be reliable:




    and YouTube suggested this, I haven't watched it:


    thanks for the ressources it looks very helpful!